MIAMI LAKES, Fla. -- CruisePath Network, which provides a Web-based
cruise-booking tool for travel agents, will cease operations in
early June after filing for liquidation under Chapter 7.
CruisePath, which had been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection since November, had sought to discontinue operations May
5, but the bankruptcy court postponed the move for 30 days at the
request of travel agent Dan Bohan, chief operating officer of Omega
World Travel in Fairfax, Va.
Bohan argued that it was in travel agencies' best interest to
keep CruisePath in business temporarily, buying time for agencies
to find another cruise-booking solution.
Bohan's company hopes to offer one such alternative with
CruiseBase, its homegrown cruise shopping/booking/reporting tool
Travel firms weigh options to failing
Bohan said he hopes to "aggressively market" the technology to
CruiseBase, which will link to Sabre for inventory from nine
cruise lines, has been in the works for some time, but Omega could
not move forward while CruisePath had a deal in place with Sabre,
CruisePath, in which Sabre holds a minority stake, said it
wanted to move to Chapter 7 liquidation because prospects for
reorganization did not materialize. Formerly known as
GoCruiseDirect.com, the company has 300 to 400 direct agency
customers, according to president John Stewart.
Sabre licenses the tool and offers it to GDS subscribers.
CruisePath is no longer accessible via Worldspan, a spokeswoman
After CruisePath goes away, Sabre said it will continue to
provide agents shopping and booking capability with its Cruise
Director product, a solution that isn't Web-based.
A Sabre spokeswoman said the company is "looking at a number of
options" to replace CruisePath.
Amadeus said it sees an opportunity to further penetrate the
market with its Web-based cruise-booking tool, Amadeus Cruise.
Amadeus said 6,000 U.S. agency locations already have Amadeus
Cruise; about three-quarters are Amadeus GDS subscribers.
The CruiseShoppes consortium, which has a distribution agreement
with CruisePath, is in the "advanced stages" of lining up
alternative automated arrangements for its members.
In the meantime, CruiseShoppes president Shawn Tubman said
agencies could find a quick, short-term solution.
"There are a number of companies out there that offer
alternatives," he said. "I don't think it's going to be a major
Al Hoffman, president of The Cutting Edge Cruises in La
Grangeville, N.Y., has used CruisePath through his CruiseShoppes
affiliation, and although the unified booking format across nine
cruise brands made it easy to train outside agents, he said he
wasn't eager to replace the automated system.
During the two months his agency offered CruisePath's consumer
booking engine on its Web site, only four customers used it to make
"I don't know whether I'm going to pursue other avenues or wait
and see," Hoffman said. "I don't need it."
Cruise lines that had signed with CruisePath pointed to their
own online booking sites for agents, which are free.
Carnival launched its own booking engine, available at bookccl.com, about five
weeks ago, a spokeswoman said.